DirranbandiDabbler1's Edible Backyard
About My Edible Backyard
Why DirranbandiDabbler1 Love's Edible Plants
We are in a semi-arid area with an annual rainfall - allegedly - of around 400mm. We use rainwater for drinking, since the town water is a mix of treated river water and bore water and is often unpalatable.
There are no water restrictions here - thank goodness - but we get occasional 50 degree days in summer, despite these temperatures not making the news. Exceptionally low humidity. Maybe three or four frosts during winter.
Lots of sticky black clay soil means that wet weather, when we get it is a bit of a nightmare.
My orchard is a very new effort, involving quite a bit of shadecloth. An hour or two in the sun for an unprotected plant is enough to burn the leaves. I'm afraid that the requirement for full sun here is just simply too much, even for citrus. As a result, all of my plants are still in pots, being moved several times a day, so that they get just the right amount of shade, light, coolness and warmth. It's quite an interesting logistical exercise.
My challenge? To condition the soil enough to allow for better drainage in the black clay quagmire, while retaining sufficient moisture that I don't need to handwater each plant three or four times each day. I am using quite a bit of screening bamboo to create cooler, shady areas in an attempt to set up a gentler micro-climate.
The good part about the hot weather, is that my kitchen scraps and a healthy dose of Brahmin and chook poo, turn to lovely compost in what seems like seconds! It does seem to be a bit too warm for earthwworms, but I am hopeful that once I cool down a few areas, I can import some and let them do their thing.
We are fortunate in that native birds are prolific in the area, and I will be relying quite heavily upon them for pest control. Assuming of course that they don't scoff all the fruit. There is an old mulberry tree that I am encouraging as a "sacrificial" crop for them, and will plant a few others as well.
Anyone with any experience in semi-arid gardening is very welcome to contribute and comment! Previously, I have won great renown as a committed plant killer!
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